4 July 19 August. The walled Fellows Garden of this 17th century college in the heart of Oxford provides an idyllic backdrop for the Merry Wives of Windsor and Macbeth, this years open-air theatre offering from the critically acclaimed Oxford Shakespeare Company. Director Chris Pickles has set his version of the Wives in the 1960s in suburban Windsor, where an ageing and alcoholic Casanova is in hot pursuit of the local ladies. Mini-skirts and outrageous hair-dos decorate this modern version of one of Shakespeares best-loved comedies. With the Scottish play, on the other hand, a story of dark passions, jealousy and murder, Pickles has followed a practice traditional in Elizabethan theatre; that of using an all-male cast. Here the emphasis is on the dark side of human nature and the consequences of murderous ambition. Both plays make the most of the outdoor setting, the talented cast creating the magic of theatre with the minimum of props and set. Comfortable seating and rugs are provided for the audience and the fully-stocked bar marquee opens at 18.30.
Strawberries and champagne are also available for 15 - cream teas can be ordered at the matinee performances only. Ticket prices vary depending on the day of the week, and range from 12 to 18. All matinees are 12. Performances start at 14.30 and 19.30. To find out which of the plays is showing each night, contact the Oxford Shakespeare Company:
Tel. 0870 6092231.
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Oxford Shakespeare Company outdoors.
Wadham College is in Parks Road near the corner of Holywell Street, a 5-minute walk from the Central Bus and Coach Station.